Dutch Private Equity Fund Opens Office in Nairobi

DOB Equity said opening an office to serve East Africa is meant to make it easier for the firm to look for new companies to invest in and better serve those it has already invested in.

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DOB Equity

A Dutch-based private equity firm, DOB Equity, has picked Nairobi as its regional headquarters and appointed Ms Mercy Mutua to head local operations.

DOB Equity said opening an office to serve East Africa is meant to make it easier for the firm to look for new companies to invest in and better serve those it has already invested in.

“With a permanent presence in the region, DOB Equity expects to be more effective in supporting the growth of its investee companies as well as to become more approachable for companies that are seeking a long term equity partner,” said the PE firm in a statement.

The PE firm has been investing in Eastern Africa since 2007 and Tanga Fresh, a Tanzanian-based dairy, was its first investment. Recently, the PE firm made a Sh120 million investment in Globology, company that runs passenger ferry services in Lake Victoria.

Investments

Prothem, a Burundi-based tea company, Bridge International Academies and solar lighting firms M-KOPA and Barefoot Power are other firms DOB Equity has invested in.

DOB targets companies in energy, transport and vet medicines industries in the low-end market with funding needs of €250,000 (Sh30 million) to €2 million (Sh238 million), but this can be increased.

In exchange, the private equity fund gets a stake of between 25 per cent and 49 per cent and a seat on the company’s board.

Private equity investments in small firms is expected to increase this year as fund managers expect SMEs to rapidly grow in tandem with the economies in the region.

“Given the attractive growth dynamics of the region, we believe private equity and other investment into the region will increase over the medium term. Eastern Africa is home to some of the fastest growing economies globally and is perceived to provide a stable operating environment for investors in the medium and long term,” Catalyst Principal Partners managing director Biniam Yohannes told the Business Daily.

The 2014 East Africa Private Equity Survey by consultancy firm Deloitte and Africa Assets showed that deals in the region more than doubled in 2013.

– Business Daily